Speak the Truth. Others know.
Speak the Truth
The need to speak the truth and the role of your passion in doing so
I am a huge fan of Buckminster Fuller, a man who died in 1983 but who was awarded 47 Honorary Doctorates from Universities around the world. He was a genius, and his work lives on.
In the introduction to his last book, Critical Path, published just before he died, he said:
“…All of humanity is in peril of extinction if each one of us does not dare, now and henceforth, always to tell only the truth, and all the truth, and to do so promptly – right now.”
I invite you to contemplate what would make such a wise man, a true genius, to say such a thing. In this blog, I will share some thoughts I have on the topic, and the role that your passion plays in whether or not you do tell the truth.
I believe that truth is enormously powerful. When you speak your truth, you are powerful. There is a useful distinction on this point. I have learned to ‘speak the truth with compassion’, or express ‘honesty without malice’. There is usually no need to intentionally hurt people by expressing your truth in brutal ways!
There are two types of truth.
Truth that is objectively true, commonly called a ‘fact’, such as “I drove the car into the other car”; or, subjective truth, a matter that you believe or consider to be true: “I consider that my colleagues are not committed to their work.” This may or not be objectively true, or it may not even be able to be finally determined.
When you are passionate, you will be courageous. It requires courage to speak the truth. When you express what is true, you are often taking a big risk. Yet, Fuller says the humanity is in danger of extinction if we don’t take this risk. It seems to me, that avoiding extinction is a great reason to speak more truth.
In your organization, particularly if it is large, there will always be politics at work. I have thought long and hard about why this is so, and I believe it is ubiquitous due to the complexity of human beings and their behaviors and motivations.
What is politics at work? I say that the volume of politics is inversely proportional to the volume of truth. In other words, the more truth that is spoken, the less politics there will be.
Politics at work leads to people being favored and promoted over others for the wrong reasons. It means people losing their jobs for the wrong reasons. It means lies and untruths that hurt and upset people, and kill passion.
Here are some of the advantages to you of accessing your passion and your courage to speak what is true, either objectively or subjectively:
- You will feel liberated
- You will help to reduce politics in your workplace
- You will help your workplace become more successful
- You will help your workplace become more productive and profitable
- You will improve your relationships
- You will have better relationships
- You will lose relationships that are built on falsehoods
- You will become more powerful
- You will gain a reputation for speaking the truth
- You will gain a reputation for being courageous
- You will help to reduce the risk that humanity will become extinct!
Let me know if you can see additional advantages for speaking the truth.Charles B Kovess LL.B. (Hons), LL.M., MAICD, MAITDAustralasia’s Passion ProvocateurCertified Speaking Professionalwww.kovess.com